Thursday sees the start of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park with 12 heats kicking off a split first round and there's a huge night in store given the defending champion appears in the very first heat, with Farloe Blitz in action later on. The Lord, off the back of six winners from eight last week, takes a look...
"One of the other big names on a great night is Farloe Blitz in the 22:13. He started favourite for the English Derby Final after some great front running efforts and, while Rio Quattro came away with the glory, Blitz created a big impression and makes all easily in heat 11."
Heat one (19:43) sees last year's champion winner Laughill Blake reappear and he's the biggest star name. He's had a stop-start period of late with injury but remains a class act with his favourite draw and should streak clear before tiring late to beat the likes of Slippery Fred and Ballybough Mike.
Irish Champion Stakes winner Sidarian Vega is next up (19:58) in a strong start to the event and is one of the leading contenders for the prize also. Expect him to run riot from the inside to beat Laughil Bolt.
Heat three (20:13) now where Skywalker Farloe runs well from the outside and has winning form over further. Therefore expect a handy slot early being turned into a winning one, although keep tabs with well draw English Derby runner Gaytime Hawk.
One of the younger stars is Gyp Rosetti in the 20:28. He was impressive at the Dublin track last week and a repeat would give connections real hope, while Slippery Snowy in the 20:43 earns the vote in heat five. He moved well in a recent trial and does enjoy the trip.
One of the stronger bets of the night is in heat six (20:58) with Rural Hawaii. He could take some holding on the strength of some fast trials and has made all at this level a few times, with the useful Tyrur Van Gaal set to make the market.
Back from a spell racing in the UK, Blonde Nipper catches the eye in heat seven (21:13). He made the Puppy Derby final at Harolds Cross last year and showed good pace at Wimbledon.
Next up is Priceless Lassie in the 21:28. She is one of the freshest dogs in the event given a recent break and did post 28.20sec for 525 yards last year. Droopys Bomber has been campaigned over further and ran second in the recent Gain 600 competition and looks good for the forecast here.
Talking of the 600, the winner Ballymac Matt is one of the big contenders for glory and takes on Greenwell Hulk and Jaytee Jet, two other strong stayers, in a cracking heat nine (21:43). Jet in particular is an exciting young stayer who ran in the English Derby. But expect Matt to be to the fore from the get-go.
The well-drawn Coolavanny Jap had no luck at Wimbledon but made the Scottish Derby Final early this year and will be sharp for a recent sprint trial and can land a knockout blow on Tyrur Hagler in the 21:58.
One of the other big names on a great night is Farloe Blitz in the 22:13. He started favourite for the English Derby Final after some great front running efforts and, while Rio Quattro came away with the glory, Blitz created a big impression and makes all easily in heat 11.
Ex UK runner Jaytee Valencia can strike in the final heat (22:28). He was a classy puppy in Ireland in his younger days and has the draw to shine after a fast Cork sprint.
Shelbourne Park (Thursday)
Laughill Blake (19:43)
Sidarian Vega (19:58)
Skywalker Farloe (20:13)
Gyp Rosetti (20:28)
Slippery Snowy (20:43)
Rural Hawaii (20:58)
Blonde Nipper (21:13)
Priceless Lassie (21:28)
Ballymac Matt (21:43)
Coolavanny Jap (21:58)
Farloe Blitz (22:13)
Jaytee Valencia (22:28)